Selling products on Twitter?

stacks of 100 bills

Here’s an interesting article, as Twitter is working with the innovative Stripe payment service to make it easy for people and companies to sell things through Twitter.

It will be interesting to see how this evolves and whether it will affect the user experience on Twitter in a bad way. I guess anyone who send sout to many “buy this” tweets can risk losing followers. The game is changing . . .

Is Your Information Safe Online?


Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you know all the ways that you’re being tracked through the Internet and your smartphone? Data aggregators, including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and more, are tracking everything you do. Are you okay with that?

Privacy Online

When we post things online, perform web searches, and write emails, many of us assume that that information is private. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The information that is found through this mining is stored on a database and with the right resources, this information can be pulled together and given to those interested.

Reported in the New York Times article, “The Web Means the End of Forgetting,” such a thing happened to Stacy Snyder, a 25-year-old student teacher who in 2008 posted a picture of herself drunk on her MySpace page. Because of that photo, the university denied her degree just weeks before her impending graduation. She’s not the only one. Others have lost jobs for posting negative things on Facebook about their jobs. Some companies even require you to login to Facebook before they will hire you. Suddenly, there’s no disconnect between your personal life and your professional life; the Internet is bridging the gap.

Apps Tracking What You Do

But it’s not just the Internet that is tracking what you do. Apps that you put on your phone can track you as well. For example, Pandora reportedly asks you to give it permission to track your location. Many apps ask for this; it makes sense for a map app or for one that helps you find cheap gas near where you’re at. But why would Pandora need to know where you are?

Other apps are doing even worse. Researchers analyzed 10,000 apps for Android cell phones and found that 8 percent of them ask users for access to the International Mobile Equipment Identity number, a unique code given to each cell phone. There is no reason these apps would need this unique identifier.

Is It Possible to Be Private Online?

In an interview with Tom Ashbrook on Boston’s NPR station, Michael Fertik privacy advocate and CEO of Reputation.com, shared the idea that there needs to be a barrier between us and the companies that we interact with.

So if you want to go on Netflix and indicate which movies you like and what you don’t like, it’s anonymous. Instead of connecting these preferences to our real names, it would be connected to something like user10537. So it is possible, but will it happen?

For now, be careful about what you post online and check the privacy settings on all social media websites.

Facebook’s new policy for celebrities

Facebook is moving to verified accounts for celebrities, and they will be able to create other accounts with fake names.

Finding fun gifts online

Shoppers went crazy this year on Black Friday as they snapped up deals everywhere. Some stores went so far as to open on Thanksgiving night. But the increases there were matched by the surge in activity on Cyber Monday. Online shopping is now part of the mainstream, as people realize the the selection and prices are amazing.

While deals are great, the best part of the web has to do with variety and uniqueness. You can find so many cool gift ideas with a little bit of research and imagination. Mainstream gift ideas are fine, but think of stuff that is a little different.

Think about stuff like ideas for sexy costumes. Of course this will only apply to certain people on your list, but women in particular love to dress up for parties. Girlfriends also like to dress up for you, so a sexy costume can be an incredible stocking stuffer. You can pick anything from80s costumes to hot Wonder Woman costumes.

If you’re armed with a woman’s size (don’t get this wrong!), then you can find a ton of cool stuff online. Of course you should also get her a romantic gift like maybe jewelry or a watch, and naturally everyone likes gadget gifts this time of year. But a sexy gift like a costume for a party you’re taking her to might end up as her favorite gift! Happy hunting!

Just start searching online and you’ll find plenty of stuff.

Online research is always critical

With the shopping frenzy of the holidays, there are so many deals out there your head will spin thinking about them. Also, your list of items can get ridiculously long.

Does anyone shop blindly today? Do you ever just walk into a store, browse around and buy something? I guess that still happens, particularly with things like clothes, but with gadgets, electronics and bigger stuff like cars, doing research online before you venture into a store or showroom is critical if you want to make a smart purchase. First, you have to get a better idea of what you want to buy, and then you can think about what deals are available so you can save money.

The good thing is that there’s a ton of helpful information out there on gadgets, electronics and cars. You can browse expert reviews and then look for reactions from consumers. Cast a wide net, and if you’re open minded and flexible, you can end up with amazing deals.

If you think about cars, for example, you can use an online used car price guide to arm yourself with information before walking into a car dealership. Now, like I said, flexibility is important. If you’re dead set on a 60s Mustang or a used Porsche 911 , then obviously you will have less leverage. But if you have a variety of potential cars you want, you’ll do much better.

The same applies to electronics. You might not be able to negotiate in the stores, but you’ll see auctions for products. If you’re not married to one product, you will do better with price.